Vol. 5 Num 1092 Wed. June 27, 2007  

Take steps to save Halda river
Speakers urge govt

Speakers at a seminar yesterday underscored the need for concerted efforts of all to protect Halda river, the only natural breeding ground for carp fishes in the country.

They also called for taking necessary steps such as compliance with the fisheries conservation rules, restoration of loop (carp breeding areas), no fishing during the breeding season and proper monitoring, to save the river.

Chittagong Samity-Dhaka organised the seminar titled 'It is essential to preserve the natural fish breeding ground of Halda river for the national interest' at its office in the city.

In his keynote paper, Dr Mahmudul Karim, executive director of Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation, said though Halda river is the most reliable source of genetically pure and high quality brood stocks of carp fishes like Ruhi, Calta, Mrigal and Kailbaosh, the breeding of carp fishes is declining significantly mainly due to man-made reasons.

He also said non-compliance with the fisheries conservation rules, cutting of five loops by unscrupulous people, installation of sluice gates in its tributaries and movement of motorised boats are mainly contributing to the decline in fisheries of the Halda river.

He also said restricting fishing rights to only licensed fishermen, stopping fishing during the breeding season, imposing a ban on certain fishing nets, raising awareness and providing training to egg collectors can help protect the Halda river from further deterioration.

Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, Fisheries and Livestock Adviser Dr CS Karim said the breeding ground for fishes has not lost yet as awareness about it has increased.

Seeking cooperation of all to save the river, he said he would try his best to ensure that the Halda river is declared as a World Heritage Site.

Syed Ataur Rahman, secretary to the fisheries and livestock ministry, the government has taken a project to save the Halda, which will be implemented from July 1.

Abdul Karim, secretary to the home ministry, Nazrul Islam, director general of directorate of fisheries, Shykh Siraj, director and chief of News of Channel i, Syed Mahmudul Haq, chairman of Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation, Abu Alam Chowdhury, president of Chittagong Samity, and ATM Pearul Islam, general secretary of the Samity, also spoke.